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Group that won school-funding lawsuit 23 years ago hires law firm to sue over vouchers

Darrel Rowland, The Columbus Dispatch |

Vouchers Hurt Ohio has hired the Cleveland-based law firm of Walter/Haverfield “to stop the unlawful and harmful expansion of vouchers in Ohio.”

More than 50 districts (out of just over 600 in Ohio) have signed up.

The basis would be the same as for the successful litigation pursued a generation ago: Ohio’s elected officials are failing to meet their constitutional duty to fund a “thorough and adequate” system of public schools. The major difference would be that instead of setting up a system based on inequitable property taxes, state lawmakers and governors have robbed public schools in the name of school choice.

And just as the original school-funding lawsuit had a single school district (Northern Local in Perry County) and parent (Dale DeRolph, whose son Nathan attended the school) serve as lead plaintiffs, the new litigation likely will take the same approach, said Bill Phillis, executive director for the Coalition for Equity & Adequacy in School Funding.

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